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BULLYING: Some Schools Still Under-Reacting

Another 11-Year-Old Boy Commits Suicide After Homophobic Bullying
Feministe via Jezebel

Bullying sucks, no matter what you're being bullied about. 
For a couple of years in school, I was bullied.  No one did anything
about it.  Adults seemed confused, and sorta intimidated by the bully.


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It distresses me to read about yet another child whose life is ended because of bullying. For the last 8 years I have been developing educational materials that are proactively addressing bullying and violence issues. In a recent presentation I made before the NJ Governor's Commission on Bullying, I presented the case for addressing these issues proactively by increasing kids' social competence. (Now supported by recent research. See research on the Published Articles page of tannersmanners.com.)

According to bullypolice.org, 38 states now have legislation in place directing school districts to address these issues. However, having read the legislation for more than half of those states, most are defining what bullying, harrassment, and intimidation are in great detail, then offering strategies for schools to adopt. But, these are reactive measures. We need to proactively address the root causes; by changing behavior.

To do that, one of the most compelling things required is to redefine "cool" for kids. They are bombarded daily in their neighborhoods, schools, and the media that the mean, rude, disrespectful kid (or person) is the "cool" person. We need to teach and model for our children the concepts that the kind person is the cool person, not the bully. That it is cool to treat others with kindness, caring, and respect, just as we would like to be treated.

I present a challenge for all who read this--"Are you tough enough (or cool enough) to be kind?

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in This Week In Education are strictly those of the author and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Scholastic, Inc.